Tweeter prosecuted for swearing


10:00 am - April 15th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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A blogger and tweeter – Olly Cromwell – was found guilty on Friday, 13th April, simply for swearing at a Bexley, London, councillor in a Twitter message.

The prosecution alleged he called a senior Bexley councillor a ‘cunt’ and are seeking a custodial sentence of 45 days for each letter of the word.

Cromwell was found guilty of a Section 127 offence under the Communications Act 2003 and will be back at court on 9th May for sentencing. He says he will appeal against the ruling after the sentencing.

Even more worryingly, Cromwell was issued with a restraining order at his pre-trial hearing on the 21st December 2011 before being found guilty of any crime. He was charged with ‘grossly offensive malicious communications’ for sending two tweets on the day.

The restraining order said he could not own, operate or write on a website or social media any criticisms of Bexley Council, where he is a resident. He could not even write directly or indirectly about Bexley Councillors on any site.

Olly Cromwell has a long history going back with Bexley Council. After reading multiple reports online, this is what I can make out.

In April 2010 he was slapped with a ‘prevention of harassment letter’ by the Metropolitan Police, which said:

It has been brought to Police attention that you have been placing blogs on the Bexley is Bonkers website and emailing Bexleyheath Councillors direct criticising them both on a personal level and the way the council is run.

It’s not clear how that is harassment, but Cromwell says he hadn’t ever blogged on the ‘Bexley is Bonkers’ site.

In October 2011 he was arrested for ‘harassment’ and ‘incitement to commit criminal damage’ on the basis of two Tweets.

It was alleged that he swore at a councillor and posted a picture of a councillors house on his blog and twitter (without revealing who’s house it was or the address).

The police also seized computer equipment belonging to him and his wife, his mobile phone, digital camera and other equipment.

Cromwell entered a ‘not guilty’ plea at the hearing on 7th November.

A pre-trial hearing was then set for 12th December (later moved to 21st Dec). At the pre-trial, the prosecution dropped the harassment charges for lack of evidence but charge him with ‘grossly offensive malicious communications’ and was hit with a restraining order.

The trial date is then set for 6th January 2012, but later moved back to 13th April. On Friday he was charged with sending that offensive tweet.

The prosecution are now seeking a total of 180 days (6 months) for that tweet.

* * * * * * * * *

This is only the latest such case. I recently wrote about the case of Azhar Ahmed – who was first charged with ‘racial aggravation’ over a Facebook message about British soldiers. That charge was later dropped and he was charged with writing a ‘grossly offensive’ message on his Facebook wall under the Communications Act 2003.

This Act is being grossly misused to lock up anyone and everyone.

I find it beyond absurd that someone can be arrested, charged, have a restraining order against them and be found guilty simple for swearing about an elected official on Twitter.

This case has set a really, really bad precedent, and Bexley Council should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

More reading and hat-tip: Spiderplant Land, Max Furquar, Bexley is Bonkers, You’ve Been Cromwelled.

* * * * * * * * *

Update 1: These were the original tweets (via Pitkanary):

Which cunt lives in a house like this. Answers on a postcard to #bexleycouncil

And later

It’s silly posting a picture of a house on Twitter without an address, that will come later. Please feel free to post actual shit

Several people on Twitter have pointed out that he was also charged with harassment and posting addresses. This is true – though keep in mind that the ‘incitement to commit criminal damage’ charge was dropped. He was only prosecuted for offensive language, which in itself sets a very dangerous precedent.

Update 2: Court documents by the prosecution have been posted here.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Thanks for posting this – it is very important for tweeters and bloggers, many of whom do express extreme views in extreme language.
The issue is how do we respond?
Do we simply vet our contributions more carefully? I have to be honest and admit that this is all I will be doing.
Or do we protest at the infringement of our freedom – let’s face it, despite the extreme nature of the language and content of many online statements, they are both harmless and ineffectual.

He wasn’t prosecuted for the swearing. And it’s “whose house”, not “who’s”.

You can also add the fact that a Bexley councillor accused him of breaking bail conditions which led to him being locked up for a night. As the judge threw it out when it was obvious that he had not done anything of the sort

a) What has this got to do with Bexley Council? I can’t immediately see any suggestion that the council, as an entity, has had anything to do with this? It may simply be a result of a complaint either by the cllr or by a third party.

b) He can’t have been charged on Friday if there was a pre-trial hearing in December. The charge must have been laid previously in order for a PTH to take place

c) Prosecutions don’t ‘seek’ particular sentence values in British courts. Their jobs is simply to charge and prove guilt in the case of a not guilty plea (except in the fairly rare occurence of a Newton hearing, where guilt is already established but there is then a process to argue out the seriousness of the offence, and even then the prosecution wouldn’t normally argue for a specific level of sentence). It is for the judiciary/magistracy to apply within the parameters of the law, and with a view to sentecing guidelines. I assume (for now) that the 6 months figure is simply the maximum for the sec 127 charge in question. Sentences are rarely the maximum, which are often very high relative to the charge in order to provide flexibility.

The whole thing looks ridiculous but there are some bits in this and the linked reports that don’t hang together.

Call me paranoid, but this shit is exactly the reason I don’t have a twitter account and that my Facebook account is collecting dust. The problem of course is that the owners and operators of both have little interest in protecting their customers from the nastier interests of states. Indeed they clearly state that if a given law demands they hand over all a users details to the authorities, then they will.
Which casts those who claimed ‘the tweets must flow’ during the Iranian Green protests and crackdown as being very naive.

It looks as though the police are becoming hysterical in their wish to police what people express on social media. We seriously need some good case law or formal protection from this illiberal, excessive behaviour.

7. Matt Wardman

Thanks for this Sunny.

I guess this is important, but I wish left-wing blogs would spend less time on soft issues like this and more on calling for socialism.

9. Alastair McGowan

It is going to be interesting how ‘grossly offensive’ comes to be a catchall for negative comment. There is an awful lot of gross offensiveness ad hominem verbage spouted out by trolls every day – I was recently labelled a ‘douchebag’ by onesuch, and although I do not know what it is or if is is generally considered as offensive as the Anglo-saxon term for my wife’s fanny, but if I had been grossly offended I would be quite happy for the American Christian-Fascist troll (for that he clearly was) to spend 6 months contemplating his language. But seriously, it’s only words, who gets ‘grossly offended’ these days, I get much more offended by patronising lying politicians. Now that IS grossly offensive and an incitement to criminal damage.

@Chris

I presume that was sarcasm? I think a debate on the limits of free speech or on the role of law in the shaping of social conduct are hardly soft issues, and it is cases like these that can start those discussions.

I guess this is important, but I wish left-wing blogs would spend less time on soft issues like this and more on calling for socialism.

I don’t consider right to free speech a soft issue.

12. the a&e charge nurse

Anybody who supports imprisonment for calling somebody a cunt is a cunt.

It sets a poor precedent if he is jailed: millions of other people use language like this. That doesnt make them right , but in purely linguistic terms, once a word has been abused to the extent that “cunt” and “fuck” have, they cease to have much relevance or cause even faux offense to the vast majority of people: which is why they are sometimes desctibed as the “universal adjectives”

what a fucking tosser

I will have to give up commenting if calling a tory a rude word gets you put in prison.

As the great Basil Faulty once said……” this is exactly how Nazi Germany got started.”

Read somewhere else that the police chief has been moved to another district of London. Something rather fishy about all this. Very thin skins those local tory politicians.

16. Giles Bradshaw

cunts!

What has become so obvious in the last year or two that even the thickest couldn’t miss it is that those who wield power – be it political, legal or commercial – are absolutely bricking it at the thought that the peasantry (which is to say, all those of us who do not wield power) might be able to communicate with one another, and might be able to obtain and distribute information of all sorts, without the imprimatur of those self-same wielders of power, or without the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ of information – the corporate and state-owned media.

And so you get politicians, from Mad Nad down (or sideways) to the typical town-hall tyrant as in this case taking to the courts to have people put conveniently away or otherwise shut off from communication, or to getting their own private goon squad to smear their critics as being ‘deranged’ or of being a ‘paedophile’; you get prosecutions for typing something disobliging about Our Brave Boys (TM), along with extreme prison sentences for Facebook postings which didn’t actually result in anything other than a temporary inconvenience for the constabulary, or for countering other people’s racist remarks with a few of your own (but not for making actual death threats, where you’ll get three months if you’re unlucky); and you get corporations running off to their political servants to get laws passed which can then be misused to prevent any criticisms of them or any ‘inconvenient’ information getting out and around (the abuse of the ‘anti-stalking’ legislation of the late 90s, for example).

Just as when that Uzbek crook Usmanov used his high-priced shysters to try to silence those pointing out his dubious character, and was met by a mass of bloggers using the Streisand Effect, so we need a Spartacus moment to defend this blogger from the thuggishness of his opponents and the cloddishness of yet another of those bloody District Judges (I typed ‘Destruct Judges’ there first – paging Dr Freud…). International Internet Cunt Day, anyone?

Well, don’t let any actual facts get in the way of your righteous indignation, will you? I mean, you’d expect most grown ups to realise, before reading the post, that he wasn’t banged up for “swearing on twitter” because that, in itself, isn’t a criminal offence.

“It was alleged that he swore at a councillor and posted a picture of a councillors house on his blog and twitter (without revealing who’s house it was or the address).” Well, more proved than alleged, really. “The post was ““Which cunt lives in a house like this. Answers on a postcard to #bexleycouncil” accompanied by a photo of a councillor’s house. This was followed by “It’s silly posting a picture of a house on Twitter without an address, that will come later. Please feel free to post actual shit” He had already posted names and addresses of Bexley councillors on his website. The “please feel free etc..” remark was, not unreasonably I’d say, interpreted as incitement to post shit through someone’s letter box. I really like this bit, though “I called someone a cunt without mentioning their name and it wasn’t directed directly at them” no, it could have been any Bexley Councillor living in the house pictured in your tweet, couldn’t it

Now, Sunny, if you still feel that it isn’t clear how any of this amounts to, say, harassment then I’d have to say you’re a complete …. oh, wait a minute, apparently I can’t call someone a cunt on the internet or I risk prosecution. I’d better not, then.

18 Did not Boris threaten to have some one duffed up?

If so, he should be in jail. But of course its always OK if you are a tory.

Steve, the Bexley councillor should have been done for harrassment then for making a false accusation leading to a man’s wrongful arrest and detention.

@11 Sunny: I don’t consider right to free speech a soft issue.

Nor do I. This man is being persecuted for saying what he thinks of politicians. If that’s a crime then Britain is simply not a free country. No ifs, no buts.

@18: I agree (and indicated so @2) that there’s a lot of ‘wrong end of the stick’ in this blogpost and subsequent comments.

From what I can piece together the blogger in question has been found guilty under Sec 127 1 (a) of the Communications Act, which (for completeness) reads:

“A person is guilty of an offence if he sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”

Disclosure of addresses of the councillors is a red herring, not least as any councillor’s address in any case a matter of public record; while some councillors prefer not to have their home address on council websites, they must by law have had them published, on the Statement as to Persons Nominated, when they stood for election. Nevertheless, the witness statements suggest that addresses of children of the councillor in question may also have been posted, and this may well have been thought to be of “menacing character”.

The guilty verdict will have centred, I suspect, less on the “obscene” use of the word “cunt”, and more on the “menacing character” of the tweets in question. Of course it’s easy to argue that the defendant may not have intended that shit should actually be delivered, but “menacing character” will have been seen from the perspective of the “victims” during the trial.

So certainly the case is not as straighforward as Sunny makes out, though I would still contend the decision by the CPS to drop harrasment charges in favour of the use of the more “conviction sure” communications act is probably misguided (without access to all the facts). Indeed, the CPS itself appears to be accepting that the use of the Comms Act to punish for twitter abuse may be over the top (see http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2012/03/31/why-labour-should-support-the-cps-not-nick-cohen-on-hate-speech/ for details of their apparent recent reappraisal).

The existing Public Interest Test (http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/code_for_crown_prosecutors/codetest.html) used by the CPS to determine whether to press charges) does have a specific factor “in favour of prosecution” where the victim is serving the public on an official capacity (and a councillor would count here) so I’m not surprised that the CPS did decide to prosecute here; the real challenge for the left is to challenge the whys and wherefores of that test, which mean that those in authority can more easily get away with abuse than those who are (however stupidly) kicking back at those in power. (oh, and I speak as an ex-councillor who’s had plenty of abuse in person and on the internet).

Finally, the assertion that the prosecution has called for a 6 month sentence is just plain wrong. Prosecutions cannot call for a specific sentence in British courts – that’s the judge’s/magistrates’ job. By the look of things sentence has been deferred to May to allow for pre-sentence reports, with probation being asked for a view on whether/what kind of community sentence (of the 12 available) might be the most appropriate, though of course prison may not have been ruled out at this stage.

23. Reduced Salt

Anychance we can start some kinda #iamspartacus campaign here? #BexleyCunts maybe?

24. Reduced Salt

woops I see the Judge @17 already had that idea…

25. Lee griffin

it’s time that this menacing/incitement part of the law was tightened and clarified. a person telling others in a rousing speech to go and beat people up is incitement. posting a “feel free to do this” with an ambiguous suggestion is not. menacing is calling someone on the phone and telling them you’re going to send people to their home to post excrement through their letterbox, not posting to a personal and public space a comment not directed at anyone in particular.

if saying/doing the same thing on the street would be legal, it should be legal on twitter/facebook, what’s so hard about that concept?

26. douglas clark

I thought women had taken the word cunt back, oops that was vagina.

Anyway, the cunt that found it offensive needs to update his notions, IMVHO. It is common usage.

“A blogger and tweeter – Olly Cromwell – was found guilty on Friday, 13th April, simply for swearing at a Bexley, London, councillor in a Twitter message.”

Even on his own version that is plainly untrue. He has clearly suggested that those dissatisfied with these councillors pay them house calls. Are you really trying to defend this?

Paul @22:

“Finally, the assertion that the prosecution has called for a 6 month sentence is just plain wrong. Prosecutions cannot call for a specific sentence in British courts – that’s the judge’s/magistrates’ job.”

And one of our ‘off-with-his-head’ District Judges is not going to be swayed by that? It was a clear attempt by the CPS to influence, and that’s all we need to know.

I propose we start a national movement to drop the letter “O” from the words council and councillor in honour of Cuncillor Seymour and his ilk. Tweeters and bloggers pass it on ;)

30. Chaise Guevara

@ 27 Jimmy

“Are you really trying to defend this?”

To be fair, I think it’s less about defending harrassment and more about getting the wrong impression, finding out the whole basis of the article is incorrect, then deciding to bluster on in the face of the evidence rather than lose face by saying “whoops”…

31. Frank Sidebottom

Am I the only one missing this “‘Olly’ Oliver Cromwell”. No wonder the government is pissed off. After all these years and the mess we are in. Maybe he can discuss some kind of transition with the queen, he could serve his sentence in the tower of London.

BTW, a sane explanation for the sentence:
http://beneaththewig.com/miscommunication

33. Chaise Guevara

@ 32 pjt

Cheers for that. I disagree that a reasonable person would find being called a cunt *grossly* offensive, but it certainly seems menacing to demonise someone then post a picture of their home online, with a promise of a street address to follow. And I didn’t know about him encouraging people to “post actual shit” to the target.

A quick google reveals this rather angry sounding individual (name redacted in the interests of consistency) has, in his other internet activities described himself as a “white refugee” from South Africa and urged a boycott of Vodafone because of a positive discrimination shareholding initiative it launched. I must admit I’d be a little worried if someone like that were bandying my personal details about.

35. Charlieman

My thanks also to pjt for that link.

If we assume that judgement was based on menacing behaviour (thus ignoring whether use of the word cunt caused offence), the evidence is that the accused posted a photograph of a house with encouragement to deliver “actual shit”. What are your definitions, reader, of “actual shit”? How many of those definitions are menacing? What other evidence is there of the accused’s intent?

36. Chaise Guevara

@ 35 Charlieman

Well, from the use of the word “actual” I presume he meant, y’know, faeces, as opposed to “shit” as meaning “stuff” in the vernacular.

But even if not, as I said above, I consider it intimidatory to badmouth someone on the internet, then publically post a picture of their house and threaten to provide a street address too. I can’t see what purpose that serves other than enouraging vigilantees.

You are all a bunch of cunts for willfully ignoring the fact that he didn´t get prosecuted for calling someone a cunt but for an incitement to violence.

You pathetic low life cunts. Especially the motherfucking cuntfaced wankstain shitehawk who wrote this shitty little article.

Freedom of speech yeah!

You are all a bunch of cunts for willfully ignoring that he didn´t get prosecuted for calling the man a cunt but for clearly inciting violence.

Pathetic fucking cunts. Especially the cuntfaced wankstain that wrote this shit article.

Fucking freedom of speech boooraah!

39. Chaise Guevara

@ bob

It grieves me to disagree with such a stirring and well-honed argument, but if you’d read the thread, you’d see we’d worked that out a long time ago. So I guess that makes you a cunt for ignoring that, or whatevs.

40. Charlieman

@36. Chaise Guevara: “Well, from the use of the word “actual” I presume he meant, y’know, faeces, as opposed to “shit” as meaning “stuff” in the vernacular.”

I’ve never heard or read the expression “actual shit” before, hence my questions. However I am familiar with usage of the words actual and shit where the meaning is figurative. Come to think of it, I do recall a stoner saying “this is good shit, actually…”

I’m not an absolutist defender of the accused; I’m interested in how a reader might interpret his words.

“But even if not, as I said above, I consider it intimidatory to badmouth someone on the internet, then publically post a picture of their house and threaten to provide a street address too. I can’t see what purpose that serves other than enouraging vigilantees.”

In this context, it is pertinent to acknowledge that the accused didn’t post the street address. My interpretation of the tweets was that the accused recognised that he had overstepped a mark and that he knowingly refrained from going further. There was no tweet with a street address.

To me, an appropriate response by the police would have been to acknowledge the complaints and to “have a word”. Not a formal caution, just a quiet word. The heavy handed response seems daft and has generated sympathy for the accused that may be misguided.

“In this context, it is pertinent to acknowledge that the accused didn’t post the street address.”

I hope he had a better defence than that.

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 40 Charlieman

“In this context, it is pertinent to acknowledge that the accused didn’t post the street address.”

Agreed: it makes the threat less serious, although it’s still a threat.

“My interpretation of the tweets was that the accused recognised that he had overstepped a mark and that he knowingly refrained from going further. There was no tweet with a street address.”

Or he just didn’t know the street address.

“To me, an appropriate response by the police would have been to acknowledge the complaints and to “have a word”. Not a formal caution, just a quiet word. The heavy handed response seems daft and has generated sympathy for the accused that may be misguided.”

I think I agree with this. He’s in the wrong and probably in breach of the law, but it does sound like he just got carried away, and the wake-up call of a police warning could straighten him out without marring his life.

43. Robin Levett

@Chaise #42:

“My interpretation of the tweets was that the accused recognised that he had overstepped a mark and that he knowingly refrained from going further. There was no tweet with a street address.”

Or he just didn’t know the street address.

I think he did – one of the commenters on the beneaththewig blog referenced above says that:

“…the councilor happend to live opposite and had no adverse dealings with this man.He just became the target of this abuse simply because he lived opposite

Which in my view makes the threat rather more menacing – but that may just be me.

Can I also chime in on the “prosecution is calling for” claim? No, the prosecution is not calling for any given sentence. We don’t live in the US. The prosecution here never “seeks a sentence”; and any prosecutor who sought to do so would be acting professionally improperly.

What the prosecutor does is set out in Attorney General Guidelines see:

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/Publications/Pages/AttorneyGeneral'sguidelinesontheacceptanceofpleas(revised2009).aspx

NB – “The prosecution advocate may also offer assistance to the court by making submissions, in the light of all these factors, as to the appropriate sentencing range” is not code for “The prosecutor may ask the Court to impose a particular sentence”.

I would imagine that the claim that the prosecution is asking for a 6 month sentence is based upon the prosecution making submissions including informing the court of the maximum sentence for the offence. That from a group of people insisting that you can’t read menace into “Feel free to post actual shit” through the front door of the house pictured.

44. Chaise Guevara

@ 43 Robin

“I think he did – one of the commenters on the beneaththewig blog referenced above says that:

“…the councilor happend to live opposite and had no adverse dealings with this man.He just became the target of this abuse simply because he lived opposite

Which in my view makes the threat rather more menacing – but that may just be me.”

OK, looks like he decided against it, then. There’s certainly a lot of nonsense surrounding the reporting of this case, as you rightly note.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  41. Beth Kernohan

    “@sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. http://t.co/tegPQojI” Madness

  42. Bryan Duncan

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  43. Panda

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  44. rakabdar

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  45. sean

    WTF? RT @sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor: http://t.co/WWA61ko1

  46. Gina latham

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  47. NN_G

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  48. christian boyce

    #freethebexleyone “@sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local Cllr. http://t.co/AVFKpvAW”

  49. Caroline Penn

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  50. Anna

    Well that's me fucked then. Bye everyone. RT @libcon: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/CYMoLmtp

  51. Syd Moore

    Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/uE7IhLd7 via @libcon This is unbelievable.

  52. Sukhvinder Pabial

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  53. Jeni Parsons

    This is the most important news any twitter user will read this week. http://t.co/AVLKRhpP Please read, share and RT for all to see. Thanks.

  54. Ant Miller

    RT @dansumption: I'm Spartacunts. MT @sunny_hundal: Tweeter prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. http://t.co/YBkNoimu

  55. Nick

    This councillor in Bexley, London, sounds like a conplete and utter dickwad. http://t.co/wWI7i2KL

  56. Oliver Miocic

    @SkyNewsBreak @SkyNews man charged for swearing at Bexley councillor http://t.co/ngfVkmnw – They want to put him away for 6 months!!

  57. Isobel waby

    This is the most important news any twitter user will read this week. http://t.co/AVLKRhpP Please read, share and RT for all to see. Thanks.

  58. Lauren Smith

    What the shit. RT @libcon Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/4XWgHDyo

  59. Carol Jones

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  60. Linda Laurie

    Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/eiR3NAjM

  61. Charlie Pinker

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  62. Nicola Peripatetica

    This is bullshit! RT @SempaiScuba: RT @libcon Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/u0IJ898S

  63. Richard King

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  64. Matty Canner

    "@unfortunatalie: What the shit. RT @libcon Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/71KUjo8M&quot; #freespeech #noopinionallowed

  65. Joey-Elijah Sneddon

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  66. Robert Ronsson

    RT @etonoldboys: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/pZpXq3Gd via @libcon

  67. Neil Henry

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  68. Buck Thomas

    I'm Spartacunts. MT @sunny_hundal: Tweeter prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/6y05Qveq

  69. Paul Burgess

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  70. Paul Lomax

    45 days for each letter of the word = Chris Morris-esque. RT @libcon: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/JpG9jpdq

  71. Nick Hopkinson MBE

    “@RoylePin:Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/nCgkA6Xy”

    What? You really believe that's all he's done?

  72. Ciarán Norris

    45 days for each letter of the word = Chris Morris-esque. RT @libcon: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/JpG9jpdq

  73. Lord Toby Harris

    Does Tory Mayor Boris Johnson condone tweeter being prosecuted by Metropolitan Police for criticising Tory councillor? http://t.co/MhHeAsgE

  74. keith flett

    Does Tory Mayor Boris Johnson condone tweeter being prosecuted by Metropolitan Police for criticising Tory councillor? http://t.co/MhHeAsgE

  75. Sylvia Turner

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  76. Inna Mood

    Does Tory Mayor Boris Johnson condone tweeter being prosecuted by Metropolitan Police for criticising Tory councillor? http://t.co/MhHeAsgE

  77. Terri Bennett

    This is the most important news any twitter user will read this week. http://t.co/AVLKRhpP Please read, share and RT for all to see. Thanks.

  78. John Jackson

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  79. kieran m

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  80. Keith Stanfield

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  81. Lara Ruffle

    "@PaulNez @sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local cllr http://t.co/SgswZVF0&quot; @Sir_Olly_C

  82. Emma Round

    Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for #swearing http://t.co/at4A1r11 Damn, I like to swear when Brum Cllr's cruelly cut Social Care etc…

  83. roger patrick kelly

    Does Tory Mayor Boris Johnson condone tweeter being prosecuted by Metropolitan Police for criticising Tory councillor? http://t.co/MhHeAsgE

  84. Susan Asquith

    RT @sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/uSCe4wsf

  85. SiMacintosh

    This is the most important news any twitter user will read this week. http://t.co/AVLKRhpP Please read, share and RT for all to see. Thanks.

  86. John Donnelly

    RT @etonoldboys: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/pZpXq3Gd via @libcon

  87. sarah ballard

    Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/v0kZAOh7 via @libcon

  88. Housing Drone

    RT @sunny_hundal: Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/uSCe4wsf

  89. Chris

    Digging needed>>RT @libcon: Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/nnmecqOW

  90. keith ferguson

    Does Tory Mayor Boris Johnson condone tweeter being prosecuted by Metropolitan Police for criticising Tory councillor? http://t.co/MhHeAsgE

  91. Swearing on Twitter – Blogger & tweeter prosecuted, may get 6months jail « Goaty's News

    [...] Tweeter prosecuted for swearing [...]

  92. Free the Bexley One! | DaveD's Blog

    [...] Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing (liberalconspiracy.org) Rate this: Share this:SharePrintDiggTwitterEmailRedditFacebookStumbleUponLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Politics and tagged #freethebexleyone, Bexley, Bexley Council, government, London Borough of Bexley. Bookmark the permalink. ← “The Wheels on the Bus Go…..Straight?” [...]

  93. A case of “hijo de puta” vs “de puta madre”? » 21stCenturyFix.org.uk

    [...] reports today on this rather unhappy case which appears to involve a tweeter being convicted of swearing on Twitter: A blogger and tweeter – Olly Cromwell – was found guilty on Friday, 13th April, simply for [...]

  94. Walter Reichenau

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  95. Elizabeth West

    DECLARATION OF INTEREST. Man is convicted for calling an elected official 'cunt' on Twitter: http://t.co/taxVS1wi

  96. Steve Chambers

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy – http://t.co/7F3xTb7W

  97. Ms. Something-Else

    Tweeter harassed and prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/eiR3NAjM

  98. Saraswati81

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  99. DuncBob

    @PrivateEyeNews something for rotten boroughs? http://t.co/STFrKKmn #freethebexleyone

  100. Tent101

    dickhead.

    #Socialism #FreeTheBexleyOne http://t.co/qhXRAHdB >> http://t.co/jW6pXmIX

  101. Dave Doherty

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  102. Stuart

    Shoud've posted this earlier. UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/ec9hN14y #FreeTheBexleyOne

  103. N S

    Bad news having to watch language so closely > Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QrQfTnrH via @libcon

  104. Rob

    Tweeter prosecuted in UK for swearing in tweet: http://t.co/5VjclnBH #censorship

  105. Sas Taylor

    Shoud've posted this earlier. UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/ec9hN14y #FreeTheBexleyOne

  106. Kat Braybrooke

    well, that's goddamn depressing. RT @delineator: Tweeter prosecuted in UK for swearing in tweet: http://t.co/QydW9bWo #censorship

  107. bruce lawson

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  108. Daryl Walker-Smith

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  109. Becca

    Shoud've posted this earlier. UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/ec9hN14y #FreeTheBexleyOne

  110. HowardYeend.exe

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  111. Matt Bradley

    @PrivateEyeNews something for rotten boroughs? http://t.co/STFrKKmn #freethebexleyone

  112. Chris Hawkins

    Uh oh, this isn't good news http://t.co/XTd1sdhz

  113. Chris Hawkins

    @ChemicalOli http://t.co/XTd1sdhz Have fun with that – what an utter farce

  114. Vasilis

    Zo hee, Engeland begint ook meer en meer op Iran te lijken: http://t.co/mskkUSAj

  115. Stefan

    Zo hee, Engeland begint ook meer en meer op Iran te lijken: http://t.co/mskkUSAj

  116. Ian Williams

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/IThI8Kn1

  117. escape artist

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6WJqMiir via @libcon

  118. GunnzAndButter

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6WJqMiir via @libcon

  119. Steve Halford

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  120. Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : Why the “gay cure” bus advertisments should run

    [...] Tweeter prosecuted for swearing – “A blogger and tweeter – Olly Cromwell – was found guilty on Friday, 13th April, simply for swearing at a Bexley, London, councillor in a Twitter message. The prosecution alleged he called a senior Bexley councillor a ‘cunt’ and are seeking a custodial sentence of 45 days for each letter of the word. [...]

  121. Andy Kinsey

    So apparently for saying cunt i am breaking the law… Some judges need a backbone http://t.co/ST5Jvud6 #letsmakecunttrend

  122. Daan Wilmer

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  123. Battleforce

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6WJqMiir via @libcon

  124. James Elford

    How do we feel about locking someone up for calling a person a cunt? http://t.co/a5jMEqds

  125. Matt gardner

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  126. Peter Bassill

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/IThI8Kn1

  127. councilwatchuk

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/qn2NJ9b3 via @libcon

  128. Simon Cooke

    "Tweeter given restraining order & prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor http://t.co/9mwNFToN” so no more calling @SimonMagus a c

  129. Chris Buckland

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  130. giantpandinha

    Almost too skeptical to complain about UK govt wanting to legalize email snooping. But 6 mos for cursing in tweet? #FFS http://t.co/gEVe0ImM

  131. Catherine

    @shivamLM There's actually more to that story than just one bloke saying the c word>> http://t.co/ynEJ2Oap

  132. Rob Myers

    well, that's goddamn depressing. RT @delineator: Tweeter prosecuted in UK for swearing in tweet: http://t.co/QydW9bWo #censorship

  133. Emilie Gervais

    well, that's goddamn depressing. RT @delineator: Tweeter prosecuted in UK for swearing in tweet: http://t.co/QydW9bWo #censorship

  134. Gaz Shaw

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  135. Twitter will more than likely, probably have you arrested or lose your job « Wax Lyrical

    [...] Twitter is becoming more and more like running round Liverpool city centre in the middle of the day with a burning torch kicking people in the knackers as they pass and smashing shop windows while threatening to kidnap the Queen and make her watch all her speeches of the past 60 years one after the other on repeat – backwards. And what I mean by that, is you’re likely to get arrested or lose your job. I say this because two things have come to my attention in the last 24 hours: Grace Dent threatening to have somebody sacked (ish) after he tweeted at her calling her an “ugly abhorrent horse” (I must admit, I giggled); and the case of a bloke calling a local councillor a c*nt a while back is hurtling towards court. [...]

  136. British Blogger Could Face Jail Time for Offensive Tweet

    [...] charged with harassment and “incitement to commit criminal damage.” The former charge was dropped at a pre-trial hearing in December, due to a lack of evidence, and instead Kerlen was charged with [...]

  137. Housing Drone

    @SkyNewsBreak @SkyNews man charged for swearing at Bexley councillor http://t.co/ngfVkmnw – They want to put him away for 6 months!!

  138. Housing Drone

    This councillor in Bexley, London, sounds like a conplete and utter dickwad. http://t.co/wWI7i2KL

  139. Housing Drone

    Bexley councillors seek to imprison critical blogger, Chinese government looks liberal compared to these people http://t.co/mWxQyAt1

  140. Housing Drone

    Liberal Conspiracy on the disgraceful prosecution of a blogger for swearing at a councillor: http://t.co/YLSOx3tt ##FreeTheBexleyOne

  141. Robert CP

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  142. Pete Jordan

    Tweeter given a restraining order and prosecuted for swearing about a local councillor. Shocking case http://t.co/v4hFP2Xo

  143. Darren Shepherd

    UK tweeter facing prison sentence for swearing. Really. http://t.co/04tLzZom RT @jamesrbuk

  144. JZA

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  145. Michael T

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  146. Alex Holmes

    This is properly vile and mental. Tweeter facing jail solely for calling an elected official a cunt on Twitter: http://t.co/jv7Ovlg9

  147. Bexley cuntcil | Anonymong

    [...] so it would seem that all that it takes to kill freedom of speech and the ability to hold our politicians to account is that we swear at the poor dears and then the useless cunts can get us gagged. Katabasis is as ever on the ball and has covered it with usual insight. Once you can be banned from writing about politicians and face jail merely for swearing about them, then political freedom in a country must surely be at least in its dying throws? So far there’s very little out cry about this, but word is spreading. [...]

  148. Schembrox

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing – to be sentanced for each letter. http://t.co/u0kUuAig @shugyokem @capelessT @OriMeissa

  149. Ori Meissa

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing – to be sentanced for each letter. http://t.co/u0kUuAig @shugyokem @capelessT @OriMeissa

  150. Ori Meissa

    @JackOfKent What do you make of this case? http://t.co/0fC4i61V via @schembrox

  151. Mike Parker

    @SydWalker @haloefekti here's details of the guy prosecuted http://t.co/ti2tcQah also on Huffpo

  152. Syd Walker

    @SydWalker @haloefekti here's details of the guy prosecuted http://t.co/ti2tcQah also on Huffpo

  153. Halo Efekti

    @SydWalker @haloefekti here's details of the guy prosecuted http://t.co/ti2tcQah also on Huffpo

  154. Syd Walker

    @pyrmontvillage Hi guys. Hear about the bloke who tweeted his Councillor is a _unt? http://t.co/Nc5f0sVm @BarnabyisRight @makiwa @noh8er

  155. Wings over Scotland | This is our hypocrisy meter

    [...] horrified at the growing phenomenon where people can be prosecuted, lose their job, or even threatened with prison just for saying rude stuff that plainly isn’t meant in any sort of threatening [...]

  156. Andy Tattersall

    RT @libcon: Tweeter prosecuted for swearing http://t.co/imtAFSNa

  157. puj Sa'Hut ghaw'

    http://t.co/hPyw1AJY The end is nigh. May as well just bend over for Big Brother now and get it over with.

  158. CarrieAnn

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/gSCydRWP via @libcon

  159. Danneel Ackles Fans

    Take note @HATERSofDANNEEL -> Tweeter prosecuted for swearing|Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LLYIk2is @DanneelHarris can report u to police!

  160. ??????e

    Take note @HATERSofDANNEEL -> Tweeter prosecuted for swearing|Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LLYIk2is @DanneelHarris can report u to police!

  161. Lana

    Take note @HATERSofDANNEEL -> Tweeter prosecuted for swearing|Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LLYIk2is @DanneelHarris can report u to police!

  162. Rahman

    Tweeter prosecuted for swearing | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/U5jojr9t via @libcon

  163. Dominic Gunn

    @BLIPRULES ok lol! http://t.co/G1XbA6Jw

  164. Flippertygibble

    For those of you that care about free speech, this is the real reason I'm leaving Twitter http://t.co/Gs5piAeG #BritishJusticeIsFucked





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